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Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic said, "sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death." Scientists have dubbed the chronic conditions associated with excessive sitting as the "Sitting Disease".



One of the most common risk factors we see in the office is a sedentary lifestyle. Modern lifestyles have become less active, more automated, and less physically demanding. It's easy to fall into the trap of sitting at a desk all day or bingeing on Netflix for hours while relaxing at home. But, all that sitting can be dangerous.



"Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death" dr. james levine


What does prolonged sitting do?


Higher Risk of Mortality or Cardiovascular Events

Prolonged sitting (4 to 8+ hours daily) has been linked to an increased risk of death. Sitting 8+ hours had a 20% higher risk of mortality or cardiovascular events compared with those who sat for less than 4 hours daily.


Affects posture and muscle loss.

Humans are built to stand upright, sitting can result in a negative posture change, such as slouching, as well as a loss of muscle from inactivity.


Hinders your heart and cardiovascular system

These systems work more effectively in an upright, standing position as opposed to sitting.


Disrupts bowel function

Just like the heart and cardiovascular system, the bowels function more efficiently when you are standing upright.


Affects digestion

Moving helps your body digest the fats and sugars you eat. When you sit a lot, you retain those fats and sugars as fat in your body.



Tips to Get you Out of Your Seat


If you have the type of job that requires sitting a lot, don’t stress we’ve got some tips to help you:


Tip 1: Reduce the amount of prolonged sitting. Get up every 30 minutes and move or stand.


Tip 2: If you work at a desk, consider switching to a standing desk.


Tip 3: Break a sweat. Get 60 to 70 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise per day.


Tip 4: Stretch. Due to the abnormal postural constraints sitting causes, it’s vital to incorporate

spine lengthening and hip stretching moves. Try our quick 3-step stretching routine.


Tip 5: Strength training is perfect for building and maintaining muscle if you are sitting for the majority of your day. To combat this, do more PULLING vs PUSHING exercises.


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